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February, 2010

I think I sprained my ankle…

I think I sprained my ankle. I was going along my own front walk made of stepping stones this morning and my right foot slipped off the right edge. I didn’t fall although my foot hurt, but not a lot. I went about my day, had breakfast, planted some lettuce and parsley, worked at my desk and about 6 hours later, my foot started hurting. By evening I couldn’t walk on it and I was in pain, so I looked up what to do. It was the old “RICE” routine: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. I’m doing it but I don’t like it. I had other plans.


Craig writes…

Craig writes…
Hey, Jenny,

My parents have been moaning at me to get a job, however, I’m finding it extremely difficult to do so. Two years ago I lost a close friend and was forced to come out about my sexuality to my parents. I already had a history of panic attacks and they were exacerbated by the pressures. This caused psychological problems which I’m still finding hard to deal with due to the strain I was put under. I returned to education only find discrimination and harrassment from my fellow students which made me leave. My parents don’t seem to understand how difficult it is to take the plunge and work because I’m scared of people hating me. I just feel like nobody understands who I am any more, and my parents don’t seem to understand what I’m going through. I just don’t know what to do any more.

Craig

My response…
Dear Craig,

To be honest, at first I thought you were just using the loss of your friend and discrimination as excuses not to get a job. But then I realized that panic attacks are real so my guess is that even without the loss of your friend and coming out, you might still be in the same place, emotionally. They say it takes two years to overcome someone’s death so you should be able to start moving on from that. If you came out to your parents and you’re still living at home, they must be accepting of your sexuality. In fact you’re lucky they are supporting you and I happen to agree that you need to start facing the realities of life and get a job. An interesting job will also help take the focus off the negative things you’ve been dwelling on. And there will always be people who might not like you but that happens to everyone. As many fans as I had on television, I also got hate mail but I knew I was a good person so I didn’t let it dictate my life. As a gay man, you are bound to face discrimination but you can’t run away from it. Your parents are trying to motivate you out of love and I believe it’s time for you to take action. You may need some counseling to do it, so if you really can’t deal emotionally with the real world, then set up some counseling this week. Show your parents that you are making the effort. You either have to take the plunge and get a job and learn to deal with life’s issues, or start counseling to help prepare you for your future. The worst thing you can do is nothing.
Jenny


Today was our housekeeper’s birthday…

Today was our housekeeper’s birthday so we invited her mother over and we all went out to an El Salvadoran restaurant in Silver Lake for lunch. We had papusas and other traditional Salvadoran foods with all of us sampling each other’s plates. After lunch, we drove to Hollywood for cream puffs. They make the best cream puffs in the world at Hollywood & Highland and luckily, I don’t get there often. There was a lot of traffic and streets blocked off in the area because the movie premier of Valentines Day was going on. But we found parking and had a fun time; however, I was a bit lethargic the rest of the day. I suppose I should have only had one cream puff.


“N” writes…

“N” writes…
Jenny,
I need some advice. In the last 3 months I have had alot of bad things happen. I have gotten divorced after ten years of marriage because he hated my children who have reached the teenage years and have been a little difficult. He has no children of his own so it was much easier to hate. I choose my children, of course, and said good-bye to my marriage and my home. We moved to an apartment and I had to move everything myself because he said he would have my son arrested if he showed up on the property.

After that my son went into rehab (that has turned out to be a great thing), my 15 year old daughter had a breakdown and was hospitalized. This affected her first semester of her sophomore year and will need to repeat these classes. During her hospitalization I found out that she had been sexually abused by her stepbrother at her father’s house. We have had meetings with DCFS and the Child Advocacy Association. I know that she is glad this
is out in the open, but emotionally this has been hard for me even though I know that while she was at her Dad’s home I could not have done anything.

So we have been struggling financially through this. Doctor’s visits, medicines, therapy, trying to set-up a household. And then the check that I thought would bring us to even this Friday was stolen in a robbery at my new apartment.

Why does this have to happen to us? I was adopted and grew up in an influential home, my father was a successful investment broker. I do not do drugs or drink alcohol. I love my children. I have a modest job. I had breast cancer 3 years ago and went through that with the strength of 1,000 men, but this is much worse than that. I want 2008 to be a better year. Is there something I am not doing right in my life for these things to continue to happen to us? I feel like I am being punished. Thanks for listening Jenny

My response…
Dear “N”…
There’s no question you’ve had a lot to deal with and if you put everything else aside, having three teenage children is about all anyone should have to deal with. I also married a man with (4) teenage children and of course the marriage failed. I didn’t come first but I was never going to. So it’s no surprise your husband is gone. If your son is in rehab, chances are things were more than “a little difficult” but he’s in the right place and can turn things around with help and support. It’s sad to know that your daughter was abused but good that it’s finally out in the open. You say you’ve had meetings but I hope you pressed charges against those responsible.

I wish I had something brilliant to tell you, but I can say that you are already on a better path. You’re a proven survivor. You’ve survived breast cancer. You still have a roof over your head (a lot of people don’t), your son is getting help, your daughter is getting help, and overcoming these adversities will likely make them both stronger. And they won’t be teenagers forever. I was a troubled teen myself. I ran away from home twice and was arrested for shoplifting, but I made a comeback and so can they. It’s not your fault. These are difficult times for most people – difficult financially, and a really tough time to be raising teenagers. You’re not being punished, you’re being challenged. And so far, you are meeting things head on. Continue being your strong self and things will get better.
Jenny


It looks like whoever stole Charlie’s car also stole a Bentley…

It looks like whoever stole Charlie’s car also stole a Bentley and sent that down the canyon too. We heard helicopters hovering most of the day yesterday. It was a sad sight to see the fire fighters smashing the Bentley window to get inside (no driver). But it wasn’t as sad as seeing all the homes coming down today in the mud slides. Right now (2 p.m.), almost a dozen homes have been lost and hundreds of others are at risk with mandatory evacuations. I drove on Mulholland Drive earlier today and this is what we face driving in the hills. I feel lucky that I only have leaks in the house.


I woke up to the sound of helicopters overhead…

I woke up to the sound of helicopters overhead and with more rain coming today, I thought there might have been a mud slide, but that wasn’t it. They were there because Charlie Sheen’s car went over the side on Mulholland Drive and the news and paparazzi were flying overhead to get the story. Apparently, his car was stolen, Charlie was at home, but there was no one in the car. It went down a steep embankment, about 300 yards and I don’t know how anyone could have walked away from it. I need to be somewhere this morning and Mulholland Drive is closed.


Jes writes…

Jes writes…
Dear Jenny,
I am a divorced single mom of two boys ages 10 & 11. I also have a live in boyfriend. We have been together for about 3 years. The divorce hit my kids hard and they spent many months away from their father, who they see now once or twice a week. Lately the boys have been giving me a hard time, when I ask them to do something, I have to ask a few times before they do it, and they are constantly arguing with each other just like boys do, typical for their age. This makes my boyfriend crazy (who was an only child, raised by his grandparents, and doesn’t know what it is like to have a brother or sister to argue with) and he gets so angry that he yells at my kids. This upsets me because his yelling scares them. He is very loud and talks very demeaning to them. He also watches my kids while I am at work and I end up getting phone calls all day long at work from them crying that he is yelling at them and punishing them. He has never hit them or anything like that. Now when they go visit their father, they tell him about the way my boyfriend acts and then he calls me and we end up fighting because I tell him that he has the right to send them to their room when they misbehave when I am not home. He feels that my new boyfriend has no right to do this and he tells my kids that the next time my boyfriend tells them to do something, to basically tell him to f* off… they don’t tell my boyfriend that, but I get so angry because he is teaching my children to disrespect adults.

My boyfriend’s actions get them so upset they cry to me and their father all the time about how much they hate my boyfriend and that they want to live with their dad and his new girlfriend. Whenever I am having a conversation with my kids, whether it’s about something that happened earlier in the day, or an argument that my children had with each other, my boyfriend butts in from the other room and yells things like, “From now on when you two argue, you both will be punished.” I get so frustrated because while I’m trying to resolve the problem with them, he doesn’t have the right to butt in and then he and I argue when I tell him to butt out !!! (I don’t tell him to butt out in front of the kids) He tells me that since he lives in the house, that he is affected by their behavior and has the right to say whatever he wants! I am so stressed, I don’t even know what to do!!! Besides this issue, my boyfriend is very good to me and makes me happy. What do you suggest? Help!!
Jes

My Response…
Jes, this boyfriend has got to go. There are different kinds of abuse – physical and emotional. This bully is verbally and emotionally abusive, not just to your kids, but to you too. You say he doesn’t hit them but the way this is going, that’s probably just a matter of time. These poor kids must be overwhelmed right now. To begin with, they’re going through adolescence and that alone is tough enough. You said the divorce hit them hard so they are dealing with the loss of their dad and upheaval of their family. And now they have this loud and abusive guy scaring them – how would you feel? They tell you he scares them and you leave them alone with him all day? Why are you putting your children through this trauma?

I agree with your ex-husband that this boyfriend has no right to discipline your boys, but I would not suggest that the boys confront the bully either. I agree that your ex should not be teaching the kids to disrespect adults, but your boyfriend has no respect for you either. He butts into you conversations because you allow him to. When he says “he is affected by their behavior and has the right to say whatever he wants” I totally disagree. He does not have that right. He is just a visitor, a boyfriend, and a lousy one at that. Jes, the situation you’ve created is not healthy for your boys. You need to take back your role as parent and get this guy away from the boys. He needs to get his own place and if you can’t live without him, then see him on your own time, at his place. Remember too that children learn by example. Do you want your boys to grow up to be mean and abusive? By allowing that to happen in your home, you are sending the message that it’s okay but I think you know it’s not. That’s why you wrote to me. You say “besides this issue, he is good to you and makes you happy. 1) He is not good to you – he is abusive. 2) “This issue” is the most important thing in your life (the well being of your children) and needs fixing. 3) You are not happy. If you need a man in your life, you could probably find a better one. Don’t abandon your kids for him. This guy will be gone soon enough but your sons will be your sons forever. They have to come first. They need you to step up now. Eliminate the problem. Eliminate the boyfriend.
Jenny